Business to business e-commerce is on the rise! Worldwide B2B
e-commerce revenues are estimated to reach around US$ 2 trillion
in 2004. This is a significant leap from last year's US$ 1.4
trillion. However, according to a recent survey, although, more
than 70% of companies have already used Internet as a purchasing
channel, a mere ten percent of their overall spending is directed
via the Internet! Contrary to popular believe, this means, B2B
e-commerce has still large potential to grow.
Internet has the capacity of changing the conventional way of
doing business. Today, you can not only buy and sell your products
and services on the Internet, you can, virtually, shift all your
business processes to online solutions as well. If you take
advantages of new Internet based technologies, the outcome
would be tremendously beneficial to your business. How to do
this without spending a fortune and not putting a huge pressure
on scarce corporate resources? The possible answer could be B2B
A B2B exchange is an online marketplace, where buyers, sellers
and intermediaries form communities, exchange views, offer
products and services, and conduct business transactions.
By becoming a member of a B2B exchange you can benefit in both
cost-saving and revenue increase ? two primary requirements of
New sales channel
By becoming a member of a B2B exchange, you open a low cost,
highly functional and easy-to-use sales channel for your company.
You expose your company to a new targeted audience that otherwise
would have been untapped. Prospective customers can buy products
and services from you, using various venues and features of the
B2B exchange, where you are a member.
Marketplace: All B2B exchanges include a marketplace, where
suppliers can post sales offer of their products and services.
Buyers, looking for specific products, can easily find best
suppliers that suit them from the marketplace. A populated
marketplace can easily become a good sales channel for a
Electronic catalog: As a member of the B2B exchange, you are
allowed to add all your products or services to the
consolidated online repository of the exchange. Adding your
products to the repository helps to create online standardize
electronic version of your product specification ? if you
don't have that before ? and use the same catalog with other
electronic sales systems ? even with other B2B exchanges
using XML interface.
You can publish sales offer of your entire catalog to the
marketplace, eliminating a need for other web presence. You
can add products or services to the repository one by one or
you can use XML interface to upload your whole electronic
Web Store: Some B2B exchanges allow you to convert or
integrate your website to their exchange. This helps you
to handle sales conveniently from your website and the
marketplace of the exchange seamlessly. You can make a web
store from scratch with the help of integrated website
builder of the B2B exchange as well.
Auctions: One of the great features of many B2B exchange is
their auction systems. As we all know from the immense
success of Ebay, auctioning is a great way of selling
products online. Some exchanges boast reverse auction system,
where suppliers bid for a deal posted by a buyer.
As a supplier, you can participate in those tenders without
any extra cost involved.
Low customer acquisition cost
Your mere presence in the B2B exchange might bring you new
customers! Since the buyers come to the exchange themselves;
your cost of getting customers through this channel is
relatively low in comparison to other traditional channels.
You can even increase your visibility by advertising in the
key places of the exchange, where your prospective buyers
frequently visit. Being highly targeted, these ads produce
Improve customer service
Ability to have constant interaction through the B2B
exchange allows you to serve your customers better. You can
track the whole ordering process from payment to delivery
and bring greater efficiency in customer service. The
integrated functions of an exchange such as sales management,
internal messaging service, lead management, etc. also
help you managing customers service process effectively.
Efficient information sharing method
When needed, you can instantly update your catalog and
inform customers about changes. Whether you are launching
a new product or having a web seminar, through the B2B
exchange you can share the information more efficiently.
Some B2B Exchanges use sophisticated knowledge management
systems to create, capture, reprocess and reutilize
information intended for specific group of audience.
These contents or information can be displayed on demand
or in time to a member ? when needed.
Business processes management
One of the primary objectives of using B2B exchanges for
you should be their ability to handle, run and administer
various business processes. These solutions assist you to
streamline your business, reduce overhead costs and reduce
Using technologies in a bid to streamline business
processes like supply chain is nothing new. Companies
have been using various solutions to support product
development, customer service, procurement and other
integral processes for many years. Before the Internet
era, many companies have invested enormous amount of
money in infrastructure building to automate supply
chain process. Today, thanks to the Internet, even
small companies have opportunity to use highly
sophisticated supply chain solutions for a small
cost. Many B2B exchanges, such as Rusbiz.com, allow small
companies to use supply chain management solution for a
small fee. The major benefits of using supply chain
1. Reduced sales time
2. Better inventory control
3. Lower overhead
4. Reduced manufacturing cycle time
5. Reduced cost of goods
Business to business e-commerce is evolving very fast.
The fact is, at one point, most of all business
transactions will take place via the Internet. B2B
exchanges are a way of building cost-effective e-business
environment on the Internet, which is capable of producing
concrete and quantifiable business benefits to the
Nowshade Kabir is the founder, primary developer and present
CEO of Rusbiz.com. A Ph. D. in Information Technology, he
has wide experience in Business Consulting, International
Trade and Web Marketing. Rusbiz is a Global B2B Emarketplace
with solutions to start and run online business.
You can contact him at mailto:nowshade[at]rusbiz.com,